Am I a dinner time meanie? - Page 3 - Mothering Forums

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#61 of 135 Old 03-07-2008, 07:11 PM
 
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I think your policy is fair. For years I prepared different meals for everyone. It was ridiculous and got way out of hand. Our rule is, you have to take 5 bites (if you are 5), 3 bites if you are 3, etc. If you dont want to finish after that that is ok. (If it were truly disgusting and the child were gagging on it I would let it go but I dont typically make things that anyone would find that awful.)
There are plenty of nights where we eat different things - if DH is working late and we are just having sandwiches or something. But if I cook dinner for all of us then we all eat it.

I wholeheartedly agree with the poster who said they are not guests and I am not a short order cook.
OK, picking up this particular quote because its close to the end. My big question is, what do you do when they won't eat those five bites? (Interested in anyone who has similar types of rules, not just Mommy of Two).

And a separate thought... I think its important to realize that it is possible to have two expectations -- one for your child at home and one when they are guests. "They wouldn't get an alternative when a guest at someone's home" really isn't a good argument for doing something at home because the circumstances are different and they can be handled in a different way. My kids are great at grandma's when the rules are different. Of course I've had to coach them through things when they were little, but they are great now.
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#62 of 135 Old 03-07-2008, 07:55 PM
 
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the smell of cooked tomatoes absolutely skeeves me out. I can not be in the same room with someone eating pasta with sauce. I cringe at ketchup or any other condiment. It literally grosses me out...I have NEVER eaten these foods but the smell alone makes me want to vomit.

I can not imagine anyone asking/forcing me to take bites/ tastes of those particular foods.

If my parents had said, "well you never even tasted it...just try it. I think I might still be vomiting."

As the person who prepares the meal the rule to me that is about respect is..."do not carry on yelling eeeewww" that is disrespectful. Not eating the food isn't.
I also respect the fact that you don't like or even feel like eating what's on the table right now.
I do correct their language if Dd says she doesn't like something but the truth is she doesn't feel like it.
we have that with yogurt and I am the exact same way...I must be in the mood for yogurt. It is not something I would just eat...I understand that my kids feel that way, too.
I respect them in that way.
My kids eat well balanced meals....mostly but some days the balance is off

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#63 of 135 Old 03-07-2008, 08:00 PM
 
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I just found this thread, and I went over it briefly so excuse me if I missed it...but I haven't heard mention of Ellyn Satter? Her books (Child of Mine and How to Get Your Kid to Eat...But Not Too Much) saved our lives! We have no mealtime battles and my kids eat way more foods than they used to. The premise is that adults are responsible for providing healthy, nourishing food at predictable meal or snack times...and the children are responsible for choosing how much, if any, of those foods to eat. Ellyn advocates for component meals, and including something in the meal that your child will probably eat. I put a bit of everything on each child's plate and there are no requirements to eat any of it. Foods that go untouched a dozen meals suddenly make it onto a fork, and my child suddenly eats it. I've had a child say "I don't like this food" about something....and my response is always "you don't have to eat it"....next thing I know she's tried it and wants more. If my response had been "you must eat at least 2 bites"...well I don't think I need to tell you where that would have gone.
Never heard of her before, but that is exactly how we approach things and have always had kids who eat most of their meals and almost never complain but rather compliment my cooking and ask for more...even my picky sensitive middle child.

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#64 of 135 Old 03-07-2008, 08:07 PM
 
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I just require one bite of something new. But if they won't eat anything on their plates and its something I know they usually eat, then they're just doing that so I will fix them something special, and I won't. Eventually they figure out that trick won't work. Some kids are more open to new foods than others though.

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#65 of 135 Old 03-07-2008, 08:29 PM
 
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For breakfast and lunch, her meals are made essentially to her exact specification. Breakfast because regardless of what we're having she prefers whole grain raisin bread, fruit and cheese. It takes two minutes to put that together. Lunch because she takes a packed lunch to school and it makes sense to make her lunch to her preferences. However, at dinner there are two other people, who work full time, to consider. We do not have the time or the inclination to create two separate meals, especially since we cook healthy, natural meals. So, we told her essentially what I just wrote and that going forward we were cooking one meal and that sometimes it would be a meal of things she liked and sometimes it would be something she's never tried or plain doesn't like,
That's our basic rule. I cook one dinner, with lots of sides that the kids like. I don't care if my 20 month old eats nothing but roasted potatoes at one meal and nothing but chicken at the next. As long as everything I serve is healthy, it doesn't matter to me which thing or how much he eats. My 5 year old is picky but he'll try anything. I do include my kids' likes and dislikes in the meal planning so they have a say. We do present things based on likes, like a pp said. Tonight for example, we're having blts. I know the kids don't like them and won't eat them but they'll eat each thing by itself. So that's how their dinner will be served.
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#66 of 135 Old 03-07-2008, 08:42 PM
 
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I have four kids. I don't have time to make something each one of them likes. I do not run a restaurant. I make one meal, if they eat it fine, if they don't fine too. Dinner is not going to be enjoyable for anyone if you concentrate on what everyone is eating and not eating, it will only lead to power strugles, disagreements and problems. Dinnertime should be a positive experience.
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#67 of 135 Old 03-07-2008, 08:51 PM
 
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then they're just doing that so I will fix them something special, and I won't. Eventually they figure out that trick won't work.
What is the trick? what do you think they are trying "pull" ?
Is their motive to make mommy run? or is the trick..I don't feel like eating this I was hoping for or I was in the mood for something else?

It's not a trick. It might be annoying and saying you just aren't going to make it or whatever..that maybe you'll make that dinner another night but I really don't think there's a trick unless instead of dinner they get candy,
then yeah..maybe they are trying to trick you into giving them candy but if I make meatloaf and my kids ask for pizza..well we can do that another night b/c the ingredients for pizza aren't readily available (plus they only get pizza when mommy is at work b/c I don't like the smell)
but if I make meatloaf and they ask for a turkey sandwich...go right ahead. Grab some bread and some lettuce and the turkey, Enjoy!
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#68 of 135 Old 03-07-2008, 11:49 PM
 
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I only have one hard and fast rule about food: if you have never tried it, you cannot claim not to like it. You do not have to eat it. You may say that the smell bothers you, or whatever. But, for some reason, claiming to dislike a food you've never tried irritates the heck out of me. I'm honest and have told the kids why I ask them to follow this rule, so they generally do.

BTW, I'm also a big fan of component meals. When there's not too much of any one thing and there is no pressure, my kids generally get around to trying new foods.
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#69 of 135 Old 03-07-2008, 11:57 PM
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Personally I have a problem with forcing children to eat something they don't want or making them go hungry. I would not be comfortable with your rules.

-Angela
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I want the freedom to have a say in my meals; why would I give my children any less?

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#70 of 135 Old 03-08-2008, 01:21 AM
 
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I only have one hard and fast rule about food: if you have never tried it, you cannot claim not to like it. You do not have to eat it. You may say that the smell bothers you, or whatever. But, for some reason, claiming to dislike a food you've never tried irritates the heck out of me. I'm honest and have told the kids why I ask them to follow this rule, so they generally do.
I like this rule.

-Angela
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#71 of 135 Old 03-08-2008, 05:05 AM
 
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I will go out of my way to include each child's favorite things. I am not a big cook at the moment, but if my children are enthusiastic about one thing or another I get it on the table when possible. HTH
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#72 of 135 Old 03-08-2008, 09:51 AM
 
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We also do component meals here, & do always have at least one veggie for dinner that the kids like too. DH & I like everything, which is lucky.

If we introduce something new, we do ask that they try a taste of it. If they don't like it, & I cook the same thing again in the future, I ask if they want to taste it again, otherwise I don't bother even putting it on the plate.

We have also fed our kids 'adult' food from when they were less than one year old, & we are adventurous eaters too, which I think is passed on to them by observation & trying things.

I modify spice levels for the kids, & will keep out a portion for them before I go nuts with the chilies, or we will use a chili/heat/spice condiment on own own servings to make the taste stronger.

I am so grateful that my kids eat a wide variety of foods, & I do find it frustrating to cook for their friends who eat only certain things. But I do ask for everyones preferences when we have guests for dinner, child or adult. I would be mortified to serve up chicken satays to a vegetarian, yk?

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#73 of 135 Old 03-08-2008, 10:38 AM
 
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One Girl, I don't think you read my posts very well before you responded. I don't FORCE my kids to eat anything. They have to stay at the table til everyone's done eating WHAT THEY WANT TO EAT, not everything on their plate. And since I do not cook anything that they don't like, how is it that I'm forcing them to eat food that they think is "Gross"? Please explain. You're not there at my table everynight, so Im curious how you know these things about me. We eat good food, and we eat chocolate and dessert every single day in my house. How are my kids deprived?

I'm not "too poor" to feed my kids eggs or bread in place of a healthy meal. I won't do that because it's poor nutrition. The healthy, fresh, whole food I buy isn't cheap and it's not an unlimited supply.

Imagine the mothers in cultures like those in The Continuum Concept saying to their kids "Oh, you don't like the roots I cooked tonight? Well, I don't want you to have an eating disorder, so why don't you make yourself a PBJ or an egg?" I'm not going to indulge my children's every wish for "special" food when there are kids out there who die of hunger EVERY SINGLE DAY. I'm trying to raise my kids with a sense of perspective. They are not more important than the children who die of hunger in their mothers' arms, out of sight of us First Worlders.

Finally, lack of exercise is not the only or even main reason for obesity, I'm willing to bet. Having been fat myself at times, I can say that it's because I ate whatever I liked for pleasure without considering the healthfulness of my choices. Then being fat, I didn't feel like exercising. There is a child in my family who is obese, and they are never "deprived"--and they play a sport and are active. If they don't like supper, they are allowed to eat chicken nuggets or a mayonaisse sandwich instead. Well, theoretically that should be a happy child, right, getting catered to. Except that they know they are fat, can't play their sport well due to it, and are obsessed with making sure that they always have the exact junk food that they like to eat, and in the proper large quantities. Where's the happy ending there?
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#74 of 135 Old 03-08-2008, 11:13 AM
 
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We do have the rule that you have to eat at least one bite of everything on your plate - and *everything* on DD's plate is something that she will eat or has never had before. If I know she hates or has trouble with something, I don't put it on her plate (like, she doesn't get the texture of lettuce, so when we have salad, I only give her the veggies that don't bother her). So she either has food that she eats under "normal" circumstances, or something new that is reasonable to ask her to try. It's never taken great measures for DD to comply with that request - if there's somehting that she decides she doesn't like that day or is scared about, I think it gives her comfort to know she only has to try it. But I think there is value in asking her to try things that are new, and in eating food that is a challenge, even just one bite. I would never make her sit at the table forever or threaten her to get her to eat - but she knows what we expect of her and is willing to do it even if she's not excited about it. On the nights when she doesn't want to eat what we are having, we usually "renegotiate" the plate - for example, she'll say "I don't want noodles, i want popcorn" and we'll say "what about this - if you finish your peas and eat this many noodles, you may have some popcorn" - she usually agrees, sometimes she offers a different arrangement. It may be obnoxious to some families - but for us it works, she gets some of what she wants and we get some of what we want (we want her to ingest food that includes reasonably nutritious proportions of protein, calories and vitamins). I also think it's important to let the kids pick the meals sometimes. We do this often - ask DD what she wants and plan the meal around it. Especially if we had a meal that was a drag for her - the next meal, she'll get to be the boss of it.


If I were at someone else's house and was served a plate that included something I didn't like, it would never occur to me to not at least have a bite or two - someone else bought the food, spent their time and energy cooking it for me - to not honor that by eating 1-2 bites would be incredibly rude, IMO. Allergies and ethic issues aside, I'm not saying vegetarians have to eat meat or kosher folks have to break faith. And the "if you had an adult at your table would you make them eat it" isn't quite the case. the actual case would be "If you had an adult over for dinner, and you had spent a great deal of time and energy figuring out what that adult liked and didn't like and made sure that you only provided foods that were within the range of foods that that adult liked." Personally, in that situation if the adult refused to even try what I cooked, I wouldn't demand that they eat it, but I would think they were ungracious dinner guests and wouldn't really care to cook for them in the future.

A girlfriend with a picky eater has a method I think is great. She got a magnet board and divided it into 7 slots (one for each day). She made a little sign with her "repertoire" of meals, and asked her DS (he was 7 at the time) what meals he would want. Then she let each person (her, her DH and her DS) pick the meals for 2 nights, then 1 night was leftover night. If she tried something new and they liked it, she would make a sign and add it to the list. Her DS would get to pick his two meals of the week and helped her schedule how all the meals would be cooked. Then they would go shopping for the week. She really talked ot him about it, that this could be a fun way to plan the meals but that his job would be to really try her choices and DH's choices in exchange for them eating his choices. So on his night they would all eat PB/Js or pancakes or whatever, but on her nights he would at least try something different. It made mealtimes more peaceful, and also was a fun weekly activity and he knew well ahead of time what the plans were.
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#75 of 135 Old 03-08-2008, 11:14 AM
 
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I have a few thoughts here. The general rule in our home is we "teach our children how to think not what to think" and food is no exception. I can only speak for my own food quirks/dislikes and I expect my children to do the same. Since I make all the meals, I dont appreciate anyone coming to the table and grumble and gag. I do however accept a "no thank you, may I have (insert substitue here). I'll gladly sub with a sandwhich or cereal and fruit. The other motive here is DH gets home at dinner time and this is the first chance we get to sit as a family and catch up on eachothers day. If we spend the meal policing bites and arguing points we've wasted alot of otherwise happy time, kwim? Lastly, coming from an adult who was an overweight child, I dont believe in imposing food rules. I grew up in a big Italian family where food was the be all end all. You were praised when you ate "look at here eat polenta, bless her heart"..... So whether you were hungry or not, or liked it or not, you ate it because it was the "right" thing to do ultimately loosing the ability to recognize hunger and regulate my own nutritional needs.
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#76 of 135 Old 03-08-2008, 07:18 PM
 
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what do you do when they won't eat those five bites
Generally they do. If they just absolutely will not then they just have to leave the table. I am not going to shove food down their throat.
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#77 of 135 Old 03-08-2008, 09:34 PM
 
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I have my chldren try a bite of each thing, most of the time that works. With the yonger kids it doesn't so well, but I try to balance my 2 year olds meals over the week. As he very definately tends to go in cycles, one day all he wants is protien, the next starch, then fruits and veggies, and somedays not much of any thing. My Dr recomended watching by the week with toddlers.

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#78 of 135 Old 03-09-2008, 06:07 AM
 
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Originally Posted by TEAK's Mom View Post
I only have one hard and fast rule about food: if you have never tried it, you cannot claim not to like it. You do not have to eat it. You may say that the smell bothers you, or whatever. But, for some reason, claiming to dislike a food you've never tried irritates the heck out of me. I'm honest and have told the kids why I ask them to follow this rule, so they generally do.
We have the same rule here.

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#79 of 135 Old 03-09-2008, 09:44 AM
 
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I make one meal, but always try to offer things (like side dishes or salads) that I know the kids will eat, if I'm making a main course dish that they may not be too crazy about. I *suggest* that they try one bite, but I really don't care if they don't, we don't force food. And I too, can't stand when someone says "gross" at the table, drives me batty.

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#80 of 135 Old 03-09-2008, 10:05 AM
 
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But I also think that "eat this or go hungry" is a form of force.
For those of you who feel that offering only one meal for your family for dinner is a form of force (in a take-it-or-leave-it kind of framework, not an eat-everything-on-your-plate concept)... Do you have the same sense of "force" when a summer camp offers only one meal? Or when a school provides lunch? Or a hospital brings one food tray?

I'm just wondering if maybe the accommodations that we make for our kids food preferences make more sense when only one or two children are involved... but when multiple kids are eating, do you really feel that not satisfying every palate with alternative foods is a form of force?
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#81 of 135 Old 03-09-2008, 01:06 PM
 
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For those of you who feel that offering only one meal for your family for dinner is a form of force (in a take-it-or-leave-it kind of framework, not an eat-everything-on-your-plate concept)... Do you have the same sense of "force" when a summer camp offers only one meal? Or when a school provides lunch? Or a hospital brings one food tray?
Summer camps nearly always (IME) have peanut butter sandwiches as a backup if you don't like the food.

School lunches are optional, and publish their menus ahead of time, and even then, often have two choices (heck, 20+ yrs ago when *I* was in elementary school, there were always two choices for entrees in the school lunch- plus a soup choice plus a sandwich choice) And hospitals nearly all have some choices now. Haven't heard of one left that doesn't.

-Angela
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#82 of 135 Old 03-09-2008, 01:50 PM
 
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I have an adult friend who is BEYOND picky. I think she literally has about five things she will eat. Having her over for dinner or even trying to go out to eat with her is a nightmare. I was not around during her childhood so I am not sure what caused this but I do know that I do not want my chlidren to be this way.

In my home, I cook one meal. Something that I think is being missed here is that there is a BIG difference between something that literally makes someone gag (people have mentioned severe aversions to cooked tomatoes, onions, etc.) and something that someone just ins't in the mood for. If I know that my child hates onions and he has hated them for five years and he hates them anytime they are made, period - then I am not going to push the issue. We are all allowed things that we don't like. Mine is eggs.

But if he just isn't in the mood for steak and is more in the mood for chicken...that's too bad. And I do let my kids help with the menu, help shop for the food, help grow the food we grow and help to prepare the meals...so it ins't like they are having something plunked down in front of them that is unexpected.

I am not a short order cook, not for my kids, not for my husband and not for my guests. No, my husband nor guests would be asked to just "try one bite" (well actually, they might, depending on how well I knew them ) but I am also not responsible for helping to shape them into a well rounded person. By the time they reach adulthood it is often times too late.

I usually serve yogurt or fruit, etc. with my kid's meals so they have a pretty wide variety to choose from. But right now my 3 year old is going through a picky phase. When she says "I don't want it" I just say "Ok, give it to daddy/the dog/put it in the compost bucket" and no more remark is made. But she doens't even ask for me to make her something else...I don't think it is on her radar that doing so is a possibility.

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#83 of 135 Old 03-09-2008, 01:52 PM
 
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Something else to think about...where does all of this come from? Do we realize the luxury we have to even be DISCUSSING this? I think about the shows I see on National Geographic about the tribes in the rainforest, etc.

You see the little kids running up and eating grubs out of a freshly turned over log. I have never, ever watched one of those shows where the child was throwing a fit over what they were 'served' to eat.

I always want my children (and to keep in my own mind) to remember what a luxury they have to even HAVE food and to have a VARIETY of food. If I think about it in those terms, it's kind of like "How DARE any of us turn our nose up at food". Food is to nourish our bodies. We are lucky to even have it.

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#84 of 135 Old 03-09-2008, 02:41 PM
 
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Something else to think about...where does all of this come from? Do we realize the luxury we have to even be DISCUSSING this? I think about the shows I see on National Geographic about the tribes in the rainforest, etc.

You see the little kids running up and eating grubs out of a freshly turned over log. I have never, ever watched one of those shows where the child was throwing a fit over what they were 'served' to eat.

I always want my children (and to keep in my own mind) to remember what a luxury they have to even HAVE food and to have a VARIETY of food. If I think about it in those terms, it's kind of like "How DARE any of us turn our nose up at food". Food is to nourish our bodies. We are lucky to even have it.
I think about this all the time.
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#85 of 135 Old 03-09-2008, 02:52 PM
 
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I just found this thread, and I went over it briefly so excuse me if I missed it...but I haven't heard mention of Ellyn Satter? Her books (Child of Mine and How to Get Your Kid to Eat...But Not Too Much) saved our lives! We have no mealtime battles and my kids eat way more foods than they used to. The premise is that adults are responsible for providing healthy, nourishing food at predictable meal or snack times...and the children are responsible for choosing how much, if any, of those foods to eat.
We live by this premise. I have an eating disorder and I blame much of it on the "clean plate club" and food being a reward of sorts. Eat dinner and you get dessert. Do your chores and get cookies. Pack up your toys fast and we can go out for icecream. I swore I would not do that to my son and those 2 books became my bible of sorts once we started solids.

My son is now 6 1/2 and I do find my self slipping and my husband even more so. When that happens I drag out those books again!

My son *loves* food but does not care that much eating. I can think of only 2 foods he doesn't like-asparagus and oranges of all things. I consider us very lucky to have a child who is not picky. Dinner times are enjoyable and we can eat out anywhere.

Pardon me while I puke.gif

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#86 of 135 Old 03-09-2008, 04:29 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Slabobbin View Post
Something else to think about...where does all of this come from? Do we realize the luxury we have to even be DISCUSSING this? I think about the shows I see on National Geographic about the tribes in the rainforest, etc.

You see the little kids running up and eating grubs out of a freshly turned over log. I have never, ever watched one of those shows where the child was throwing a fit over what they were 'served' to eat.

I always want my children (and to keep in my own mind) to remember what a luxury they have to even HAVE food and to have a VARIETY of food. If I think about it in those terms, it's kind of like "How DARE any of us turn our nose up at food". Food is to nourish our bodies. We are lucky to even have it.
I understand this concept, but i also think that teaching our children how lucky we are to even have food needs to come a little later. I want my children to have time to be children, and I don't want them living in fear of becoming homeless, of not having any food, or of nuclear war at the ripe old age of 4 or 5. You know what I mean?
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#87 of 135 Old 03-09-2008, 09:09 PM
 
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Personally I have a problem with forcing children to eat something they don't want or making them go hungry. I would not be comfortable with your rules.

-Angela
I'm posting before I have read the whole thread, but I agree completely with this.

I'm not willing to let food be a battle in our house. I never make the kids eat something they don't want. I only cook one meal and it is usually one that everyone likes. And if it is something new, then I still make sure to include at least one side dish that I know they will eat. And if they don't want any of it, they are free to grab some fruit, cheese, crackers, yogurt, jelly sandwich, etc out of the fridge themselves.
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#88 of 135 Old 03-09-2008, 09:18 PM
 
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if you have never tried it, you cannot claim not to like it. You do not have to eat it. You may say that the smell bothers you, or whatever. But, for some reason, claiming to dislike a food you've never tried irritates the heck out of me. I'm honest and have told the kids why I ask them to follow this rule, so they generally do.
Why can't it be said that you don't like something based on smell? I can see if you are talking about a food and someone just says yuck, but the smell really can indicate the taste why is knowing the taste the only accepted criteria?

I know I am beating this to death but growing up my sense of smell was strong and people would say, "how do you know you didn't even taste it?" I knew b/c I could smell it.
Once I got older and started smoking and my taste buds and sense of smell became imapaired I could taste more foods willingly b/c the smell wasn't so strong.
I do agree with disrespectful eeewwing but I really think it is OK not to like a food and say so based solely on the smell.

I also agree with this:
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I understand this concept, but i also think that teaching our children how lucky we are to even have food needs to come a little later. I want my children to have time to be children, and I don't want them living in fear of becoming homeless, of not having any food, or of nuclear war at the ripe old age of 4 or 5.

The first rule of homeschooling: water the plants! :
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#89 of 135 Old 03-09-2008, 09:22 PM
 
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I'm posting before I have read the whole thread, but I agree completely with this.

I'm not willing to let food be a battle in our house. I never make the kids eat something they don't want. I only cook one meal and it is usually one that everyone likes. And if it is something new, then I still make sure to include at least one side dish that I know they will eat. And if they don't want any of it, they are free to grab some fruit, cheese, crackers, yogurt, jelly sandwich, etc out of the fridge themselves.
:

And yes, it is a luxury that our kids can be picky. It is also a luxury that we have a home to live in, indoor plumbing, fresh water, etc. My kids take full advantages of these luxuries, why shouldn't they take advantage of the luxury of being able to have a PB&J for dinner if they don't care for meatloaf or whatever? If something happens and we don't have access to these luxuries anymore, we'll all deal with it then.
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#90 of 135 Old 03-09-2008, 09:52 PM
 
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I don't think you are a meanie.

I pretty much just make one meal, I always have. The kids eat what I serve. I do encourage them to try everything, though I don't force them, if they don't want it, they don't have to eat it. I don't make a big deal out of it, and I will not tolerate "ewww that's disgusting" at the table. My dh works hard to provide the money to buy the food and I work hard to shop and prepare our meals and I will not sit at dinner and hear how gross it is. They may politely say they don't like something, but when they were younger, I was able to get my oldest to not say that when his sister would hear, because then *she* would automatically not like it, either. We cannot do peanuts in this house, and even if we could, I wouldn't have my kids go make their own pbj's.

My kids are now 9&6 and they eat just about anything. They have great appitites and will try anything that is offered to them. They do not whine and ask for something special when we go to other peoples houses. I do not have to bring special food for them so they'll have something they like. (I have friends who bring coolers full of food for their picky kids who don't even like enough foods to make a full meal at a potluck cookout...) My friends often comment about how "lucky" I am to have good eaters. The way I see it, there are millions of kids in the world who are starving, and have very limited choices when it comes to food, and I'm sure they don't have any preferances. In this country, we have so much food available to us, we cannot even appriciate how lucky we are.

Now that I've said all this, my stance on it is directly related to the way my mom raised me. She made me eat one bite of everything but did not force me to eat anything I did not want to. I grew up to be very picky and I don't think she did me any favors. I am still trying to expand my repetoire as far as food goes.
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